Thursday, May 31, 2018

Blood banks still accepting blood from Lyme patients


 . . . a Lyme Disease patient in Arkansas is raising awareness about the fact that she, and other Lyme Disease patients, can still give blood.

According to the CDC, Lyme disease is one of the fastest-growing infectious diseases in the United States. The CDC also reports that Lyme disease can live in blood that is stored for donation.

Even still, patients in Arkansas say they can still donate blood, despite the risk of passing it to others. 

Saturday, May 19, 2018

More Lyme workingroup updates

Two more meetings of Working Group; New Lyme legislation introduced in Congress
This was a big week for the Lyme community in Washington DC.

First off, the Tick-Borne Disease Working Group met for two day-long sessions. Read our summaries here:



Then, on Friday, May 18, Congressman Chris Smith of New Jersey introduced the National Lyme and Tick-Borne Diseases Control and Accountability Act of 2018. Read more here.


Tuesday, May 15, 2018

Live broadcast of the HHS subcommittee


Sorry for the late notice, but I just last night received instructions for watching the federal Lyme disease panel online when it meets to discuss its recently-released subcommittee reports on Tuesday and Wednesday. (May 15 and May 16) 

This is the federal-level Health and Human Services Lyme subgroup related to the Cures Act. 

The hours will be Tuesday, May 15 from 9 a.m. to 7:45 p.m.,

and Wednesday, May 16 from 9 a.m. to 5:30 p.m.


I'm watching it now, online, and all I had to do was click on the link above (or copy and paste it into your browser address bar).

-Bob Cowart

Monday, May 14, 2018

TBD’s Working Group’s Subcommittee Reports Now Available

Tick-borne disease research update from the US government has become available for reading by the public.


https://www.lymedisease.org/wp-content/uploads/2017/12/tbd-whole-group-150x150.jpg

Subcommitte reports have been posted on the Health and Human Services website. 



https://www.lymedisease.org/tbd-working-groups-subcommittee-reports/

 

Monday, May 7, 2018

Is there a Lyme Vaccine?

People often ask me about the Lyme vaccine. Is there a vaccine? 

Why The 1998 Lyme vaccine was withdrawn from the market because of serious side effects and serious limitations. At the time, and for years after, GlaxoSmithKline (now called GSK) often circulated a story that "anti-vaxxers" or "poor sales" were the cause of the withdrawal of the Lymerix vaccine. GSK settled a class action suit with patients who developed a chronic arthritis after receiving the Lymerix vaccine, but those who received the vaccine received nothing from the settlement. 



Several subsequent published papers discussed problems with the vaccine:

Side effects included a portion of the population developing a permanent arthritis. Limitations included the unfortunate situation that 20 percent of those vaccinated would still get Lyme Disease.  The vaccine lacked testing in children. It was only effective against a single strain.  Immunity lasted only a year and it offered no protection against co-infections including babesiosis or anaplasmosis. 

The CDC issued a Morbidity and Mortality Report on June 4, 1999, titled, "Recommendations for the Use of Lyme Vaccine

Here's a somewhat surprising quotation from the 1999 document given CDCs habit of denial of chronic Lyme symptoms in the years following.

"Infrequently, Lyme disease morbidity can be severe, chronic, and disabling (8,9 ). An ill-defined post-Lyme disease syndrome occurs in some persons after treatment for Lyme disease." 

And finally, here is a link to a paper discussing the 1998 Lyme vaccine:

The Lyme Vaccine: A Cautionary Tale


Thursday, May 3, 2018

Tick and mosquito-borne diseases rise in the US - CNN

Good article in text and videos about the tripling of mosquitos and ticks that are carrying diseases such as Lyme and related coinfections. Here is a reality check.

https://www.cnn.com/2018/05/01/health/ticks-mosquito-borne-diseases-cdc-study/index.html

-Bob

Monday, April 23, 2018

A clue on the connection between the microbiome and autoimmune disease

Lab Chat: How migrating gut bacteria might do damage

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SMALL INTESTINES STUDDED WITH E. GALLINARUM BACTERIA. (MANFREDO VIEIRA ET AL., SCIENCE 2018)

Scientists have discovered a particular microbe that can venture out of the gut and set up shop in other organs, where it seems to trigger an autoimmune response that's similar to what's seen in patients with lupus. The finding gives researchers new clues about the potential link between the microbiome and autoimmune disease. Here's what Dr. Martin Kriegel of Yale told me about the work, published in Science.

What did you discover about a potential link between the microbiome and lupus?

Studies have suggested autoimmune disease might have a microbial trigger. We gave mice that modeled autoimmune disease broad spectrum antibiotics to manipulate the microbes in the gut. We almost completely prevented mortality. But a big hurdle is figuring out which bacteria are behind the link, and how. So we tracked the bacteria with fluorescent tags.

What did you see?

We saw that E. Gallinarum bacteria somehow crossed the barrier of the gut and impacted immune cells. The bacteria tipped the balance from being prone to developing autoimmune disease to actually developing it. When we went to human liver tissue, we also found these microbes. We think it drives important autoimmune pathways.

Journal article:

Translocation of a gut pathobiont drives autoimmunity in mice and humans